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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Core Banking Vendors in Middle East & Pakistan

Over the years, I have realized that you don't need to have a best of the bread product in order to succeed in a product + service oriented market. What's equally or (perhaps) more important is your local presence to provide efficient support to your customers. I'll write about this and my other professional experience in future posts.

I have been involved in some integration solutions for the banking industry in the Middle East and Pakistan in the last few years. I am providing a few links for the core banking solutions which are quiet famous in the mentioned region. You can follow a more comprehensive list here.

Flexcube by i-flex Solutions is one of the most famous core banking solutions. As of now, Oracle has acquired more than 80% of the company. Some of the banks which I know are running Flexcube include Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), Barclays UAE and Dubai Islamic Bank (Pakistan).

SYMBOLS by SunGard System Access is another major player. MCB (Muslim Commercial Bank) recently tried to shift to this system but I have heard that the migration project has failed; there are further rumors that MCB contacted LMKR to provide consultancy for this migration but it didn't work out as planned. These days, UBL (United Bank Limited) is working on a similar migration.

Equation by MiSys is another offering. Some of the banks that I know running this system include International Bank of Qatar (IBQ) and Ahli United Bank (Bahrain). MCB was previously using Equation (perhaps it still does). Locally, IBM is providing support for this core banking product (which runs on AS400 machines).

Lastly, another famous solution is TEMENOS T24 by TEMENOS. I have frequently heard of the product trainings being offered in Karachi though I don't have any personal integration experience with this one.

The local solutions in this domain include Banksmart from Codebase Technologies and PIBAS host by PIBAS. However, the local solutions have started to show off their age, and they are fast disappearing. Some small banks started with these solutions but they soon realize that the products and their support are not scalable enough to keep pace with the growth of the bank.

I'll write about Alternate Delivery Channels in a future post.